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In challenging post-RERA regime, ex-RNA GC, Hammurabi partner Vidya Adsule joins Sheth builder as GC

Vidya Adsule moves to
Vidya Adsule moves to

Former RNA Corp general counsel (GC) Vidya Adsule joined the Mumbai-based $300m+ net worth realtor Ashwin Sheth Group, run by Sheth Corp, as group GC.

On 21 January 2019, Adsule has begun leading its team of 8 in-house lawyers at the group, which had been without a GC for the last four years.

She had left RNA Corp after one year at the group, which she had joined from JP Infra.

Adsule is a 1988 Mumbai University alumnus, who had worked in-house at companies including Ahuja Constructions, ICICI Bank, ICICI Venture Funds.

From 2005, she also spent time as GC at Kotak Mahindra Investments Limited and Bombay Dyeing, before briefly joining law firm Hammurabi & Solomon in 2014. She then moved back in-house to Kolte Patil Developers in Pune, JP Infra and RNA in Mumbai.

She commented that one of the biggest challenges facing the real estate sector was contending with the imbalance of equity in India’s post-RERA regime.

While the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 (RERA) stipulates timelines for developers to complete projects, the authorities under the Act are under no obligation to grant necessary approvals under a strict timeline.

“The 1980s was the growth story for real estate. The market obtained its peak between 2005-2010 and after 2010 [there was a decline]. Under the [Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act 1963] there was no separate regulatory body,” she said. “Post RERA, there is a separate regulator and every project has to be registered with the regulator before the developer can start selling.”

Adsule added: “RERA is just two years old and it is getting evolved right now. In that evolution the authorities, which are not from a legal but a bureaucratic background, [tend to lose sight of legal implications to business in] passing new rules.”

She said that on the flip side the government has also supported the sector on ease of doing business by relaxing certain environmental regulations such as reducing the defined limits of the “high tide line” from 200 metres to 50 metres - this has helped developers in Mumbai increase business. They can now build “affordable housing” in No Development Zone (NDZ) areas.

The government has also increased the threshold of project site areas for compulsory clearances from 20,000 sq mts to 50,000 sq mts, she said.

The four-decade old Sheth Group had split into separate groups in 2012, with Adsule now joining the Ashwin Sheth group. The Ashwin Sheth group has projects in Mumbai and Dubai with over 12m sq ft delivered assets across residential, commercial and residential segments.

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